Navigating Opportunities Down Under: A Guide to the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

March 13, 2024

Australia’s vibrant economy and diverse workforce have made it an appealing destination for skilled professionals seeking new horizons. For those aspiring to work in Australia on a temporary basis, the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (Subclass 482) (TSS) offers an avenue to contribute their expertise to the country’s growth while experiencing its unique culture and lifestyle.

In this guide to the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage Visa, we delve into the details of the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage Visa. We uncover its key features, eligibility requirements, application process, and the opportunities it presents for both visa holders and the Australian economy. Whether you’re an employer looking to fill skill gaps or a skilled worker seeking professional opportunities in Australia, the TSS Visa opens doors to an enriching and dynamic experience.

Understanding the Australian Temporary Skill Shortage Visa

As the world becomes more interconnected, Australia recognizes the importance of welcoming skilled professionals to contribute to its workforce and economy. The Australian Temporary Skill Shortage Visa (TSS), also known as the subclass 482 visa, is designed precisely for this purpose. This visa allows employers to sponsor skilled workers from overseas to fill positions that cannot be easily filled by the local workforce.

Key Features of the TSS Visa:

  1. Three Streams: The TSS Visa comprises three streams: the Short-Term stream, the Medium-Term stream, and the Labour Agreement stream. Each stream is tailored to specific employment needs and durations.
  2. Occupation Lists: The TSS Visa program includes lists of eligible skilled occupations. The occupations on these lists determine the stream and the duration of the visa that an applicant can apply for.
  3. Sponsorship: To apply for a TSS Visa, an employer must be an approved Standard Business Sponsor or have negotiated a Labour Agreement with the Australian Government. This involves meeting specific requirements and obligations, such as demonstrating a commitment to training Australian workers.
  4. Nomination: Employers who are approved Standard Business Sponsors or party to a Labour Agreement are able to Nominate TSS visa holders to work in their business.

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Skills and Qualifications: Applicants must possess the skills and qualifications necessary for the nominated occupation. This typically involves relevant work experience and educational qualifications. Some occupations and passport holders are required to obtain a Skills Assessment for their occupation. Some occupations also require registration and/or licensing.
  2. English Language Proficiency: Depending on the stream and occupation, applicants may need to demonstrate English language proficiency through language tests.
  3. Health and Character Requirements: Like most visa applications, TSS Visa applicants must meet health and character requirements.

The Application Process:

  1. Sponsorship Approval: The employer needs to be an approved sponsor before nominating a skilled worker for a TSS Visa.
  2. Labour Agreement: For companies and industries with skill shortages that fall outside the standard TSS visa requirements, an industry, area or company specific Labour Agreement is a potential pathway to enable sponsorship of skilled workers.
  3. Nomination: The employer nominates the skilled worker for a specific occupation, indicating the terms of employment and remuneration.
  4. Visa Application: The nominated skilled worker can apply for the TSS Visa, providing necessary documents and meeting requirements. Family members can also be included in the application.

Benefits of the TSS Visa:

  1. Access to Skills: The TSS Visa provides employers with the opportunity to fill critical skill gaps in their workforce, allowing them to access specialized talents that may be lacking locally.
  2. Work Experience: The TSS Visa offers the chance to gain international work experience and exposure in a new cultural setting.
  3. Pathway to Permanent Residency: Eligible TSS visa holders have a pathway to applying for Australian Permanent Residency through sponsorship from their nominating employer.

TSS Standard Business Sponsorship

If a business is planning to sponsor an international worker for a TSS visa, they first need to become approved by Home Affairs as a Standard Business Sponsor. During this process Home Affairs check that the sponsoring business is a legally operating Australian business or Overseas Business Sponsor. Home Affairs also ensure and that you will be able to meet sponsorship obligations. An employer who is a Standard Business Sponsor can nominate multiple international workers to hold TSS visas.

A business that is approved as a Standard Business Sponsor has a number of sponsorship obligations, including:

  • Ensuring equivalent terms and conditions of employment for visa holders
  • Maintaining sponsorship records
  • Providing records to Home Affairs if asked
  • Informing Home Events when certain events occur (including change of name, registration,cessation of employment)
  • Not recovering or transferring certain sponsorship costs to another person
  • Paying travel costs to enable sponsored people to leave Australia

Standard Business Sponsorships are granted for a five year period in most cases.

TSS Nomination

A business that is a Standard Business Sponsor can Nominate international workers to work in their business holding a TSS visa. Employees can be nominated for the TSS visa if they have a job on one of the relevant occupation lists.

Nominations for international workers must meet requirements including:

  • Labour Market Testing
  • Genuine position requirements
  • Market Salary requirements, including the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold.

Employers Nominating employees to hold a TSS visa must pay the Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) Levy as part of the Nomination application.

TSS Visa Application

As the name suggests, the TSS visa allows you to live and work in Australia temporarily (for either two or four years). This is done through sponsorship from an employer, if you have a job on the relevant occupation list or your employer is a party to a Labour Agreement.

In order to apply for this visa you must meet the following requirements:

  • be nominated by your employer
  • have an occupation on the relevant Skilled Occupation List
  • meet English requirements for your occupation and visa stream
  • have relevant qualifications or experience for your occupation
  • have at least two years of work experience in your occupation, and
  • meet health and character requirements.

Some applicants for the TSS visa are required to have a Skills Assessment for their occupation.

Including Family Members

TSS visa applicants can include depndent family members in their application for a 457 visa, including spouse/partner and dependent children. It is also possible for current TSS visa holders or 457 visa holders to apply for their family to join them in Australia holding a TSS visa. It is also possible to add a new spouse or de facto partner to a TSS visa. Family members need to meet health and character requirements. The sponsoring employer also needs to approve the inclusion of sponsored family members.

Labour Agreements

Labour Agreements stand as a testament to Australia’s commitment to addressing specific skill shortages through tailored migration solutions. These agreements are pivotal in facilitating the entry of overseas workers when standard visa options don’t fully meet the needs of employers and industries. A Labour Agreement is a formal arrangement between the Australian government and an employer or group of employers. It enables them to sponsor skilled workers under certain conditions that are mutually beneficial. This arrangement not only aids industries that require specialized skills but also contributes to the growth of the Australian economy by ensuring that critical positions are filled. The Labour Agreement pathway underlines Australia’s flexibility in responding to evolving workforce demands while upholding the nation’s values and standards.


The Australian Temporary Skilled Shortage Visa opens doors to valuable opportunities for both skilled workers and employers. It’s a gateway to fostering global talent, addressing skill shortages, and enriching the nation’s workforce. Whether you’re a skilled worker seeking new challenges or an employer looking to tap into international expertise, the TSS Visa offers a pathway to a mutually beneficial partnership that contributes to Australia’s ongoing success on the global stage.

About Port Migration

Port Migration is a full service Australian Migration Agency based in Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. We help individuals, business owners and HR managers to consistently achieve successful visa outcomes. We are registered with MARA so you know you can rely on our advice (MARN 1575613). At Port Migration we are here to give you friendly, efficient service. We make the complex and constantly changing Australian visa application requirements simple and stress free for clients.

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Joanna Hill

Registered Migration Agent

Joanna Hill is a Registered Migration Agent with over 8 years experience assisting individuals, business owners and HR managers to apply for all Australian Visas. Joanna’s areas of expertise include Work Visas, Partner Visas, Visitor Visas and Australian Citizenship. She makes the complex and constantly changing process of applying for Australian visas simple and stress free for client sand achieves a 100% success rate for partner visa applications. Joanna is a Member of the Migration Institute of Australia and is registered with the Migration Agents Registration Authority (MARN 1575613). In addition to her work in Migration, Joanna has over 15 years experience as a teacher, Leading Teacher and Learning Specialist in Primary and Secondary schools. She has a research Masters in Education and has presented research and workshops at conferences in Australia and internationally

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